Cowgirl PROfiles: 32x World Champion Wanda Harper Bush

One of the most highly decorated women in rodeo was west Texas ranch-raised cowgirl Wanda Harper Bush.

File photo

One of the most highly decorated women in rodeo was west Texas ranch-raised cowgirl Wanda Harper Bush.

There are many reasons why the late Wanda Harper Bush became one of the most revered figures in women’s rodeo—32 of them in fact. She earned 32 world championships in the Girl’s Rodeo Association, which was the precursor to the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. Alongside her family Wanda Harper Bush raised and trained horses for all disciplines and rode them to wins on the cloverleaf, as well as in cutting and roping competition. The fierce competitor was born in 1931 in Mason, Texas, and became a charter member of the GRA in 1948 where the records she set and the championships she earned are the stuff of legend.

| READ Rosies of the Range: How Helping Save a Nation Became the Genesis of Women in Rodeo

Harper Bush passed away in 2015 and was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2017.

  • Back-Back WPRA World Champion, 1952-1953 riding her great horse Dee Gee
  • 9-time WPRA All-Around Champion, 1952, 1957-58, 1962-65, 1968-69
  • 8 National Finals Rodeo qualifications, 1958-1960, 1962-1965, 1974
  • 2 cutting world titles, 1966 and 1969
  • 1 flag race world title, 1969
  • 11 WPRA (then Professional Women’s Rodeo Association) calf roping titles, 1951-56, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966-67
  • 7 ribbon roping titles, 1951, 1953-54, 1956-59

About Bonnie Wheatley

Bonnie Wheatley brings a lifetime of professional experience in the Western industry to her role as Barrel Racing Content Director for and Barrel Racing Magazine. She grew up immersed in ranching and the Western lifestyle before graduating from the University of California at Davis and relocating to the eastern plains of Colorado. When not researching and writing exciting new content, Wheatley enjoys running barrels, showing reined cow horses, cheering at her daughter Sage’s sporting events, and for her husband, Scot, and son, Regan, at team ropings and horse shows.